SID the snake was found slinking in the cellar of a Hawick pub – and now animal rescue staff are looking for its owner, writes Bob Burgess.
The two-foot long Everglade ratsnake was discovered by startled landlord Brian Lee in his Mansfield Bar last week.
He said: “I’ve got various pieces of pipe lying around in the cellar. I heard something fall and when I went to have a closer look, I picked it up and there was a snake inside. I couldn’t believe it and I got some fright – it’s not the usual kind of thing you find in a pub cellar.”
The non-poisonous orange reptile is now at theScottish SPCA’s rescue and re-homing centre in Balerno near Edinburgh.
Rescue officer Mairi Stewart commented: “There are flats above the pub so it would have been easy for Sid to come down the wall and into the cellar.
“It’s very likely that Sid is a stray as snakes are good escape artists. As snakes can go for quite long periods without eating, it’s difficult to say how long Sid had been there.”
North American Everglade ratsnakes can grow to 7ft 6in but the normal size is 3ft to 6ft. In captivity they are docile and easily handled. Their diet can include frogs, rodents, birds and eggs.
Mairi admitted it was a strange find: “This is not a breed I’ve come across very often but they are kept as pets and Sid is in good condition, which suggests someone may be missing their snake. Hopefully, someone will recognise Sid and come forward.”
In the wild, Sid and his kind are found in the Everglades of Florida and their breed is one of the largest rat snakes found in North America They spend most of their time hiding under rocks and inside knot-holes of trees – which is probably why it snuggled in to a discarded pipe in the cellar of a Hawick pub.
Anyone with information about Sid is asked to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.